Nov 23, 2017 | By Tess

IGUANEYE, a French startup based out of Porto, Portugal, has developed a new style of customizable 3D printed sandal which will allow people’s feet to breathe without hindering their mobility. The product, called the “IGUANEYE Jungle,” will soon be featured in an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.

IGUANEYE was founded some years ago and launched its first product, “Freshoes,” through a crowdfunding campaign in 2012. The company’s goal has been to create footwear that comes as close to being barefoot as possible, all while protecting and supporting your feet.

In fact, Olivier Taco, the company’s founder and designer, has taken his footwear design inspiration from indigenous Amazonian peoples, who used to dip their naked feet into liquid rubber from trees to protect them in the jungle. (Hence the product name, IGUANEYE Jungle.)

According to Olivier, he has been conceiving of and designing shoes for the past two decades and has consistently been drawn towards minimal structures. As he told 3Ders, “I was looking for the most minimal shape as I think that the most convenient way of walking is barefoot.”

Olivier Taco dipped his own foot into liquid rubber as an experiment

At the same time, he was driven to find a solution to what he calls the “flip-flop paradox.” He explains, “We put [flip-flops] on when we want to liberate our bodies (especially our feet) and once we have them on we can't move, we can't run... So I was looking for a product that would deliver as much aeration as possible and at the same time enough support to allow any type of movement.”

With the company’s new IGUANEYE Jungle model, he believes he has succeeded.

The shoe itself consists of two main parts: a flexible toe and heel hold made from technical rubber, which wraps around the wearer’s big toe and heel, and a thick and comfortable sole. The company likens the pieces to a 3D puzzle, in that they can be taken apart and assembled easily for the wearer’s convenience.

The Jungle shoe model was designed using Rhinoceros 3D and was prototyped extensively using 3D printing technologies. The 3D printing was done in partnership with INPACT, a Portugal-based service, which used a 3D Systems SLS 3D printer to manufacture the prototypes from a combination of Duraform Flex and Duraform TPU materials.

If the crowdfunding campaign for the IGUANEYE Jungle shoes goes well, the current plan is to transition to injection molding for the shoes’ production, though Taco told us he is still exploring the possibility of partnering with an industrial 3D printing company to produce the shoes.

He explained, “3D printing would offer many more possibilities for personalizing our products. Our future will obviously be linked with 3D printing. The dream will be to be able to print from renewable and even compostable material.”

Down the line, the company also hopes to partner with a 3D printing facility for the development of other new and innovative footwear products. Olivier has even toyed with the possibility of investing in 3D printers for the company so that they can produce and personalize new products internally.

For now though, the Porto-based company is primarily looking to its upcoming IGUANEYE Jungle Indiegogo campaign, which is set to launch on December 7, 2017 and will feature the minimalist shoes for as little as €49 for the early backers.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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